Today was not the day…

That Nigel is an old horse is not a revelation. It is something that his greying face and swaying back cannot hide. His oft times seen protruding tongue is not some cheeky school boy act of bravado but rather the sad legacy of his old man teeth that are no longer able to do their job.  But at 33 years young (that’s about 93 in human years) Nigel is pretty spritely for his age.  Pretty spritely, that is, until this morning.  At first unable to stand, then when he finally did after several heart stopping attempts, Nigel showed severe symptoms of pain – pawing at the ground then swinging his head backward to look at his stomach.  Any horse owner would recognise that I have just described the symptoms of colic, which is cause for alarm in any horse and generally brings serious, if not fatal, consequences in an older horse.

Nigel and I met almost 30 years ago, which means we have spent more than half of our lives together.  Laughter, tears and triumphs have coloured our worlds ever since. That Nigel had character was always a given; there was the easy way to do things and then, there was Nigel’s.  But I loved him then as I love him now and, carried deep within the pockets of both our memories, is that special bond between a girl and her horse. Determined am I to honour the solemn promise I made all those years ago- that I would be with my beloved Nigel ’till the end.  And so, as the sun prepares to set on this tumultuous day, I am pleased to say that it will not be the day I am forced to say goodbye to my buddy.  He, or should I say we, have made it to the other side.  It has not been an easy day, but my thanks go to all of you for your well wishes, to Kyle for calling me back when he realised Nige was not okay, to our amazing dedicated vet, Dr Cat, who was here in an instant to help my dear buddy, and to Nigel for giving me another day of your beauty – you know that when the time comes I will be there right by your side. Because that’s what friends are for…

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